Classic Raw Zucchini Hummus

Classic Raw zucchini Hummus

Wow! Having just written a post in which I talked about the importance of staying on topic as a blogger, I think I ought to switch gears more often! Your response to my blogging 101 post was absolutely delightful, and I’m happy so many of you found it useful. I think it would be fun to keep that conversation going, so hopefully we can return to the topic of blogging do’s and don’ts soon.

This is a week full of guest posting. If you haven’t already found it via my Twitter feed, I wrote a fun guest post yesterday for my dear friend Anne, entitled Bet You Didn’t Know it Was Raw.” The purpose of the post was to show readers that raw foods don’t have to be categorized in a different way than the foods we already know and love. Most of us eat a lot of raw foods without giving it much thought. This should be comforting to aspiring raw foodies, because it means that choosing raw doesn’t mean trading familiar food for a foreign set of flavors and ingredients: instead, it can mean giving thought to what you already like in an uncooked form, and simply eating more of it. To read more about the five raw foods you already know and love—even if you didn’t know they were raw—head over to Fannetastic Food and check the post out! And please stay tuned for a very special guest post announcement tomorrow.

Today, it’s back to the normal routine here at CR. You know, one of the nice things about being a “veteran blogger”—to use an expression I pulled out in yesterday’s post—is that I’m finally at a point where I feel I can comfortably repeat or reinvent recipes without having my readers feeling short-changed. Not too long ago, I shared my recipe for cashew alfredo for the second time; I think a lot of my readers actually appreciated the reminder that the recipe exists. There’s nothing more fun than finding an old recipe—one I haven’t made in a long time—and rediscovering it. It’s like reconnecting with a long lost friend, with the added benefit of being able to make small modifications or improvements if you want to. Today, I’m bringing one of my favorite recipes back to the front page of CR. It’s my raw hummus, and it’s a CR classic.

In my guest post for Anne, I emphasized that many commonplace, popular foods are already raw. Hummus is sort of the opposite: it’s not a raw food, but many people assume it is until they’re forced to give it a little thought. Yes, it’s cold, and yes, it’s veggie-based, and if you use canned beans it doesn’t seem to necessitate cooking. But the beans are nevertheless cooked, so it’s not technically a raw food. Now, I don’t subscribe to the idea that cooked food is inherently inferior to raw food. But lots of raw foodists do.

So what happens if you’re a strict raw foodist who loves hummus? This hummus recipe happens. There are many raw hummus recipes that are offered as a solution to the cooked chickpea dilemma: some use sprouted, raw chickpeas, some use almonds. I happen to find the taste of sprouted chickpeas totally unbearable, and I’ve never been able to digest them, so those aren’t an option for me. Almond hummus is tasty alright, but the combination of almonds and tahini/sesame seeds makes it a very high fat and high calorie option; this is totally fine if you have normal needs or even need higher calorie food, but it’s not an ideal recipe for, say, a CR client who needs to lose weight.

The solution? Zucchini. Zucchini hummus is a staple in the kitchens of many raw foodies, with good reason. It’s delicious, it’s easy, it’s not too heavy, and it tastes and looks a lot like regular hummus, but it’s suitable for strict raw foodists and people who don’t digest beans very well. I tend to make classic hummus or any one of my hummus varieties (such as sweet potato hummus) more often, because I like the traditional texture and the protein boost, but I frequently enjoy zucchini hummus as a tasty alternative. It’s a terrific filling for wraps and sandwiches, and it’s also great atop salads or as a dip. If you’re newly raw-ish and wondering how to replicate the hummus you know and love, this recipe is absolutely for you.

Note that the recipe I use calls for a high speed blender, which can grind sesame seeds with zucchini easily and create a thick texture (I like thick hummus). This isn’t necessary; you can also use tahini in place of sesame seeds in a regular blender, or you can follow my food processor option below the main recipe.

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Classic Raw Hummus (Raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Yields 1 3/4 cups

2 heaping cups (about 2 small zucchini) chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup hulled sesame seeds

1) Place ingredients in a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) set to manual speed, with zucchini at the bottom. Begin blending at low speed, using the plunger to help get everything going. As the mixture blends, you can turn the speed up, until eventually the whole mixture is blending smoothly.

2) Switch speed to high, and let the mix get very creamy. Taste; adjust seasonings, and re-blend. Serve.

Food processor option:

2 heaping cups (about 2 small zucchini) chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini

1) Instead of chopping zucchini, shred it using the processor’s shredder attachment. Turn shredded zucchini into a bowl, and use paper towel or a clean dish cloth to squeeze out as much of the natural moisture as you can.

2) Return zucchini to processor and add remaining ingredients. Process till smooth.

The food processor option will yield thinner hummus, but it will still taste great; this is how I made raw hummus for over a year before I got my Vita-Mix!

Check out the smooth, fluffy texture of this hummus:

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I typically enjoy mine in raw wraps of some variety. The other day, I stuffed it into romaine leaves and ate them along with a giant salad:

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Hope you give this raw foods classic a try soon. In the meantime, what recipe have you rediscovered lately? Have you changed it at all since you originally made it?


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Categories: Hummus
Dietary Preferences: Raw

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  1. I LOVE hummus and make it frequently with my own cooked chickpeas. I can’t wait to try this version. Its lighter and several years ago I got 38 zucchini from one plant. I am always looking for healthy zucchini recipes (I’m not really into zucchini cake). Thank you for this recipe.

  2. What kind of nonsense is this? Chickpeas don’t have to be boiled at all to make hummus. You just leave it to soak in sufficient water for an adequate amount of hours until they become soft and then blend it like any other vegetable. Of course it’s a raw food.

  3. Hi. This was really good, except that I added only three tablespoons of raw tahini and it was way strong. Are you sure I was supposed to have add 3/4 cup??? That seems like an aweful to of tahini.

    Cheryl x

  4. Also, zucchini is unpeeled, correct? The photo does bit look green at all, so I was. It sure!

  5. This sound delicious, but I am have trouble getting the Vitamix method to work well. I followed directions and started on low and have been using the plunger, but it seems to be taking forever. Maybe a double recipe (where plunger would reach more easily) would work better? I do want it thick, but should I add more liquid? Any suggestions?

  6. This was great! Although I must admit I made it quite differently. I used 1.5 cups of my homemade unsalted chickpeas, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup tahini, 2 cups chopped yellow zucchini, 2 T olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, and a splash of garlic hot sauce. I guess because zucchini doesn’t have much of a taste it ended up tasting a lot like the plain hummus I make. I wanted something with beans but lower in fat so that’s why I modified it. Glad I tried adding zucchini! Easy way to add more veg to hummus! Thanks!

  7. love the texture, but a bit on the bland side if you cannot eat garlic like me… so I added a little asafoetida (which works perfectly), salt and extra lemon juice
    oh, and for the non-vitamix owners; I added a teaspoon of chiaseeds which made it thicker like on the picture (did not squeeze the zucchini) thanks gena for inspiration!

  8. Hi there Gena,

    I noticed you wrote about sauerkraut. I was wondering if you have actually ever made fermented veggies yourself?

    I’ve made kraut a few times with success. However, there have been more instances in which the cabbage ends up spoiling instead of fermenting. (I followed the same process – sterilizing & air-drying glass jars, exact ratios of salt, cabbage, etc. Go figure.)

    If you’ve made it yourself, do you have any tips for your successes?

  9. I am seriously dying to buy a Vita-mix, but it’s too damn expensive!! lol :-/ Maybe when I find a job… Until then maybe I can make this in my bullet blender? Yes, I’m talking about the one with individual cups for smoothies, lol. Ghetto, I know. :-p Anyway, wanted to say that this is an awesome recipe, and I can’t wait to try it soon … Okay, maybe today. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hey Gena thank you for sharing this recipe…how long will this keep in the fridge?

  11. Gena, I really, really, really appreciate the detailed instructions for how to use the Vita-Mix settings in your recipe!! My Vita-mix is still very new to me and I’m unsure of how to use its settings to best effect with anything that isn’t a smoothie 🙂

  12. I think I made this a while back on your suggestion . . . I wish I could say that I liked it, but I’m going to have to stick to the original cooked version. It’s too bad, because your raw zucchini version is way lighter! I want to thank you for pushing the envelope and continually providing me with inspiration to make and try new recipes.

  13. I agree that sprouted chickpeas are pretty nasty! I’ve made a zucchini hummus a few times and it’s so delicious, but I’ve never made it in the blender. Clever idea.

    I recently re-discovered making raw ice creams, and then using it for ice cream sandwiches (vegan but now raw). Not the best health wise but it sure is tasty and easy to make 🙂

  14. I loved your deconstruction of how people assume hummus is raw. And yay for great Mediterranean foods.

  15. Cafe Gratitude, now in Los Angeles, has an AMAZING Hummus made with soaked almonds…OMG!!! SOOOOOO GOOD! Try it ladies by replacing the zucchini with almonds that have been soaked overnight.

  16. “There’s nothing more fun than finding an old recipe—one I haven’t made in a long time—and rediscovering it.”

    I completely agree! I also love it when I find products, like a spicy hot mustard, that I hadn’t had in TEN years and then having it and being brought back to my life and memories from 10 years ago…it was pretty awesome the power of that mustard and memories.

    But bringing back recipes on one’s blog is great…it gives new readers the benefit of the recipe AND it reminds existing readers about it.

    And truth be told, it helps the blogger out. Not every single day can one come up with a 100% original, from scratch, recipe. A little recycling, relinking, or re-tweaking is a beautiful thing!

    And I love that you use zucchini for the hummus. Better than beans for me…I love the taste of hummus with chickpeas but have to be really careful, ahem, of portions or things get a little haywire for me. lol

    Have a great day, Gena!

    • I’m going to add that bringing back old recipes helps the readers of blogs alot. Most readers have probably not been reading a blog from day one, or even day 351, especially as some of the best blogs continue into multiple year stints. So when a blogger brings back favorite recipes, it’s probably the best recipe that they could provide for the bulk of their readers. Hope I am making sense here!

  17. I can’t wait to try this out! It would be perfect on days that I need something a bit lighter than chickpea hummus or when I am all out. Thanks Gena!

  18. I love zucchini hummus… as long as the zukes are not bitter at all I made some once that really awful.. such a disappointment.

  19. I love zucchini hummus and I agree that sprouted chickpeas are just gross. I like putting zucchini in everything!

  20. Love it! What do you put on your daily salads? Do you often make dressing? I have yet to find a dressing I absolutely love and store bought ones are just terrible! I need more salads in my life!

  21. This makes me so happy! I love zucchini, and dare I say, I’ve overdone chickpeas lately. Canned chickpeas, beans and lentils have been very unappetizing to me lately. This is my solution! Thank you. 🙂

  22. I love how simple and versatile this recipe is! Thank you for sharing it Gena!

  23. I’m pretty sure you could blend dirt with tahini and call it hummus and I would eat it. Eat it all. But I’m sure this tastes much, much better. Although dirt IS raw. 🙂

  24. I’ve never used sesame seeds in hummus before, but this looks wonderful. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been rediscovering creamy hemp sauces, raw marinara and zucchini noodles which are some of the original raw recipes I learned.

  25. I’m not really rediscovering old recipes lately, it’s all about discovering new ones! (hint: I received my dehydrator today ;))

  26. I actually just rediscovered classic hummus. Made from dried beans in my Spanish kitchen. I even peeled the chickpeas! I’m convinced it aids in digestion. Luckily tahini is readily available in Madrid. I can’t say the same for all of my vegan tastes. 🙂

  27. I had to do a double take on that recipe – I have a functional fixedness thing, in that hummus is always made with chickpeas, so seeing courgette was a surprise! Such a clever idea, I love it 🙂

  28. Your guest post on fANNEtastic food is fabulous! (Left a comment there….)

    I love this raw humus recipe…and when I see recipes like this it pushes me more toward a Vitamix (or BlendTec??)! I have sprouted chickpeas to make raw humus, with sesame seeds instead of tahini, but this humus removes the five day sprouting process!

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s guest post 😉

  29. This will certainly be making the rotation — particularly when we have 20 zucchini covering our counters during that “bumper crop” period of gardening! 🙂

  30. I think I made your zucchini hummus before-which was delish, and I’m amazed that this version looks just the same as if chickpeas were in it! I also like my hummus thick-runny hummus is just, well, gross.

  31. Zucchini?! Who’da thunkit? I know I wouldn’t have! This sounds awesome though.

  32. I am so glad you brought this one back from the archives – I needed the reminder, especially since zucchini is going to be plentiful in the next few months 🙂

  33. This is by far my most frequently made raw dish! I’ve been using your recipe for probably a year now, and everybody loves it! I brought it to the superbowl party and placed it next to the Ranch dressing… I think more people ate the zucchini hummus than the Ranch! I also have a friend who is allergic to chick peas, so he is so grateful for this dip. I’m curious why the pictures this time around look thicker and more of a beige/khaki color than the green from the other pictures. What’s different?

    Thanks for your posts/recipes!!

  34. I love the concept of raw hummus and making it veggie based instead of legumes. I also like the whole seeds over pre-made tahini. Sounds wonderful, I’ll have to do some experimenting. Mmm… garlicky hummus. YUM!

  35. I remade my smoky-black eyed pea dressing after I got home for spring break. Now that I’m not so anal / fearing of salt and other ingredients, I felt more free to experiment with adding different components to make a balanced dressing. It’s still not perfect but it’s a far leap ahead of the acidic burn that the last one was.

    And also, I’ve seen so many different hummus recipes calling for zucchini – as soon as summer hits and they come into season I’ll be making your recipe immediately!

  36. Very cool – I’d have never thought of using zucchini, which happens to be something I love. I’ll have to give this a try, though, since I can’t leave any recipe alone, the idea of using some kind of nut butter in place of the tahini sounds appealing for some reason.